Traffic Tips To Save Time This Weekend

Bob Pryor
October 18, 2018 - 10:22 pm

KCBS Radio traffic reporter Bob "Major Timesaver" Pryor is back with his road forecast to avoid delays around the Bay Area. 

With a Day of the Dead festival, a brand new footrace, a Niners game, and a daylong music festival on tap (and speaking of “on tap”, hey it’s not too late for one more Oktobefest!) — it’s one of those Fall weekends that makes you honk your horn with excitement that you live in the Bay Area. That’s unless a Sunday night full-freeway closure in Oakland runs late, but hey, that’s just one more thing Major Timesaver’s here to give you a heads-up about.

My trusty minions have looked at the maps, read the events listings and consulted the traffic oracles to come up with this guide to where you want to go as smoothly as poosible. 

Let’s get right to it!


Sat, Oct 20 from 11am-6pm: At San Jose’s Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park, it’s ‘Dia de San Jose,’ the Bay Area’s large ‘Dia de los Muertos’ or Day of the Dead festival.

  • Pro tip: The Park is an easy walk from the Paseo de San Antonio or Convention Center light rail stations, and several VTA bus lines also serve this area. Keep in mind, Market Street will be closed between San Fernando and San Carlos Streets, along with the portion of Park Avenue nearest to the Park.
  • Areas & roadways affected: South Market Street and Park Avenue, plus San Carlos, San Fernando, and First streets near the park.

Sun, Oct 21 from 9am-2pm: San Jose hosts the inaugural Wonder Woman 5K/10K. Both races start at 9am at Discovery Meadow and end at the same plac. 3,000 runners are anticipated, and there will be street closures and VTA re-routes.

  • Pro tip: Light rail to the Convention Center station is one good way to get there. To see a course map and a nicely comprehensive listing of which streets will be closed and when, go to The San Jose Downtown Association’s webpage has a map and list of street closings.
  • Areas & roadways affected: Almaden Blvd, S Market Street, S First Street, S 2nd Street, and other nearby streets in the downtown area.


Sun, Oct 21 from 11:59pm thru 5am on Mon, Oct 22: Heads up for an Oakland freeway overnight closure: Caltrans will close ALL lanes of southbound I-880, at 23rd Avenue in order to remove the temporary supports of the new 23rd Avenue bridge that is tentatively scheduled to open on Friday, October 26.

  • Pro tip: Yes, the closure happens at midnight and should be done by 5am on Monday, so there probably won’t be much of a delay. But it’s still a full freeway closure – why take chances? Especially when eastbound I-580 runs roughly parallel and is there, waiting and open.
  • Areas & roadways affected: Southbound I-880 in Oakland.

Sat, Oct 20 from 11am-6pm: Walnut Creek: 4th Annual Oktoberfest at Civic Park. KCBS Radio's own 'Foodie Chap' Liam Mayclem will be there:

  • Pro tip: The Walnut Creek BART station is about a 15-minute walk from the park, or, if walking’s not to your taste, the County Connection’s free Route 4 trolley will get you from BART to within a stone’s throw of the festivities. 
  • Areas & roadways affected: Ygnacio Valley Rd, Civic Drive and other roads near Civic Park.


Sun, Oct 21 at 1:25pm: Levi’s Stadium: 49ers play the Los Angeles Rams

  • Pro tip: Expect to see extra pre- and post-game traffic. The Santa Clara Police are very keen on people not parking in residential neighborhoods. Go, Niners!
  • Areas & roadways affected: Highways 101 and 237, I-880, Lawrence Expressway, San Tomas Expressway, and Great America Parkway. Transit agencies serving the stadium: VTA buses and light rail, CalTrain.


Sat, Oct 20 from 11am-5pm: Fisherman’s Wharf: The 6th Annual Wharf Fest Chowder Competition And Street Fair takes place.. It all takes place in the parking lot at Jefferson and Taylor Streets, under the Fisherman’s Wharf crab wheel sign; and on the adjacent two blocks of ‘Little’ Embarcadero, right next to Pier 43.

  • Pro tip: Muni’s F-Market or E-Embarcadero streetcars will get you out to the Wharf, as will a slew of bus lines; or if you want to do the full tourist experience, the Powell-Hyde cable car line will take you there as well. 
  • Areas & roadways affected: Extra traffic on Beach and Jefferson Streets. Possible congestion on some Muni lines.

Sat, Oct 20 at 2pm thru Sun, Oct 21 at 2am: The annual “San Francisco Decompression”, aka “Black Top City” will be held at the Potrero Power Station. Basically, this is “an urban version of Burning Man,” with lots and lots of bands and art.

  • Pro tip: MUNI’s T-Third line can get you there, or you might choose to park in a garage such as the one at UCSF Mission Bay at 3rd Street. 
  • Areas & roadways affected: Possible congestion (and even fewer parking spots than normal) along Third Street and neighboring streets in the Dogpatch neighborhood.


Sat, Oct 20 from 10am-6pm: San Rafael: 3rd Annual Marin Music Festival takes place at the Marin Rod & Gun Club. It's the first exit as you’re coming off the WB Richmond San Rafael Bridge.

  • Pro tip: Isn’t this what they invented taxis and ridesharing for? Festival goers can park on Kerner, from where it’s a short walk along the Bay Trail to the back entrance of the Rod & Gun Club.
  • Areas & roadways affected: Francisco Blvd, Kerner Blvd, and nearby streets in San Rafael.

Fri, Oct 19 thru Sun, Oct 21, starting at 8am each day: Sonoma Raceway: SCCA National Championship Runoffs. Racing in 27 different car classes.

  • Pro tip: If Major Timesaver had a genuine workaround for Highway 37 traffic, he’d be richer than that Monopoly dude with the top hat. This is amateur racing, though, so it won’t create the kind of gridlock we see with big summer NASCAR events. On the other hand, it’s also the first time the SCCA National Championship Runoffs have been held at the Raceway,. If you’re not going, I’d just try to avoid Highways 37 and 121 until after the races are underwayor after they wrap up by 5:30pm
  • Areas & roadways affected: Hwy-37 and Hwy-121.